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Paraguay

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Colin with a good run-down of recent news about the quasi-coup that forced Fernando Lugo from power in Paraguay last year. It sounds like a combination of gratuitous police violence toward the poor that rightist elements in the legislature used to throw Lugo out of power. In short, there’s a lot of powerful people in South America who are very unhappy about that democracy has blossomed in their countries. They long for the old days of the CIA or Marines coming and eliminating leaders who represent the poor. In nations like Honduras and Paraguay, the rich have taken matters into their own hands and led the coups themselves.

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  • They long for the old days of the CIA or Marines coming and eliminating leaders who represent the poor.

    Like 2002.

    I wish I could believe those were “the good old days,” but I worry that this is merely a reprieve, like the Good Neighbor Policy, and we’ll revert to form the minute this presidency ends.

    • I think 2002 was telling because it was a failed coup. In the McKinley-Bush I eras, that coup succeeds. I also think that while it is possible the US could go back to its old ways in Latin America, 2 things get in the way. Well, 3 really. First, our attention is so focused on the Middle East. Second, the rise of Brazil makes that trickier. Third, Chinese investment in many of these countries will make this even more difficult.

      Could be overoptimistic though.

      • Tybalt

        Having a video camera in everyone’s pocket doesn’t help matters either. It’s harder than ever to keep these things quiet.

        • Even I’ll be a technological futurist if it stops the US from overthrowing the democratically elected governments of other countries.

          • Pestilence

            or in the US

        • Jameson Quinn

          Yeah. If only people had realized what was happening, they never could have gotten away with it in Honduras.

        • Alan

          I sometimes point out to my students that when I did stupid things at college parties none of my friends had a video camera in their pockets. And the class of ’87 did not have a Facebook page to post these things too

      • wengler

        Haiti was successful in the coup department during Bush II.

  • Jameson Quinn

    They would have had a chance of pulling it off in Guatemala, too, if their martyr hadn’t turned out to have committed suicide-by-borrowing-his-cousin’s-hitmen. In the end it was just a farce and nobody takes it seriously anymore, but they were quite serious about it at the time.

  • Murc

    Completely irrelevant story:

    I have a friend who lies to people about being born in Paraguay in order to string them along for five or ten minutes so he can make the following really bad joke:

    “Oh yeah, Paraguay had a plan to take over Uruguay, back in the seventies. There was almost a war. They were going to form a new country… the United Guay.”

    For some reason people (and by people, I mean ladies) find the sheer amount of effort he puts into delivering that in a way nobody ever sees coming charming.

    • McAllen

      It is sort of impressive, in the same way someone building a life-size statue of Ronald Reagan out of feces would be sort of impressive.

      • If someone is building a life-sized statue of Ronald Reagan, does using feces make it better or worse?

        Are we talking bovine? Human? Hamster?

        • Jameson Quinn

          We are all stellar feces.

          As for the “United Guay” joke, it took me reading it about 6 times for me to turn off the Spanish in my brain enough to get it.

  • JoyfulA

    Didn’t the Bush twins buy something like 100,000 acres of Paraguay for their family 6 or 8 years ago?

  • cpinva

    you just can’t hire good help any more:

    “In nations like Honduras and Paraguay, the rich have taken matters into their own hands and led the coups themselves.”

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